Standard System with gravity drain from the tank to the drain field (Anaerobic): Most homes in Harbour Point have the standard system described above with a septic tank that sits above the drain field and the wastewater gravity feeds from the tank to the drain field. This system does not require electricity and will continue to function properly during a power failure.
Standard system that pumps the wastewater from the tank to the drain field (Anaerobic): Due to yard contours, some lots have septic tanks located below the drain fields that require wastewater to be pumped from the tank to the drain field. Located next to the large septic tank is a smaller tank that can range from 500 to 1000 gallons that contains a pump. As water gravity feeds from the large tank and fills the smaller tank, a float switch is activated which turns on the pump that discharges into the drain field. Each home that has this system should also have an alarm in their home that comes on if the pump fails and the level reaches the high alarm float. Some have elected to install a second pump as a back-up for more reliability. This system requires electricity and will not function during a power failure To use either of these two standard systems, the lot has to be large enough to be able to contain a drain field and the soil must pass the “perk-test” which means the soil has to be able to absorb the water from the drain field.
Aerobic System: Some homes have yards that don't pass the "perk-test", are close to Lake Lanier, or were subject to later stricter Hall County requirements. These homes require a more efficient septic system called an Aerobic System. Some later Estate and Villa Ridge homes on the community septic system were required to install this system with a septic tank that operates a mini aeration system (small fan blows air into septic tank) that further treats the wastewater prior to discharging it into drain fields or the community septic lift stations and drain field. There is an alarm and red light on the blower system that activates when no air flow is detected. The quality of wastewater leaving these systems is cleaner than the standard septic Anaerobic system. The septic systems listed in 1 & 2 are anaerobic meaning they do not require air injection and the type of bacteria in the tank are active in the absence of air. The aerobic system does require air being mixed in the tank, and the type of bacteria in this system requires air and is more efficient than an anaerobic system thus producing cleaner wastewater than what goes to the drain field. This system requires electricity and will not function properly during a power failure. Follow the instruction manual for operational guidelines during a power failure or contact a professional.
Community Septic System: Homes using the community system only have a septic tank and do not have a drain field in their yards due to very small lot sizes or not being able to meet other Hall County requirements. Their septic tanks drain into common lift stations (large tanks with pumps) located near the locations listed below. These lift stations pump the wastewater to a community drain field that is located on the other side of Highway 53. The common lift stations contain dual pumps that will alarm if the high level float switch is activated.
About one third of the homes in Harbour Point require electricity to operate the septic systems. During an extended power outage, sewage can backup into your home if water usage is not curtailed. Some water usage will be reduced naturally due to not being able to run the dishwasher and washing machine and because some require electricity to light the hot water heater. In the event of an extended power outage, just flushing the toilets will overflow the pump stations in about 8 hours and sewage will back up. Different fallback plans for the community systems were investigated, and the current plan is to have tanker trucks pump out the lift stations during an extended power outage, recognizing roads must be passable and safe for the tanker trucks.